9 Best Drones For Sale 2016 [Updated September]

What is the best drone that you can get for your money right now? Heres the deal:

DJIs drones still tops my list for those who have a bit of money they want to spend on real quality.

For 2016 I highly recommend the DJI Phantom 3 Standard. It is a great quad for beginners and intermediates wanting a fun and safe quad that can shoot really good footage. DJI has set the price for this model surprisingly low, making it an excellent choice, and great value for money.

For those really into aerial photography and cinematography the best choice for the money right now is the DJI Phantom 4 with 4K camera.

Scroll down to see all top drones for sale in 2016.

Best Drones With Camera

– Best Value –

Phantom 3 Standard


DJI Phantom 3 Standard

Specs
Camera: 2.7K video and 12MP photos
Gimbal: A stabilized 3-axis gimbal included
FPV: live HD video feed
Flight time: Approx 25 minutes
Check Price!

The DJI Phantom 3 Standard is a recent release from DJI that has been given quite a budget friendly price tag, considering the outstanding quality it offers. If you are looking the best “bang for your buck” the DJI Phantom Standard is the best you will find right now

About the Camera

The camera is integrated, and comes with a 3-axis gimbal for effective stabilization. It shoots video in 2.7K and takes photos in 12MP.

About the Drone

The Standard is built to be easy to fly, and has some cool features that makes it easier to control, and gives extra safety.

An example of this is the auto-hover, that automatically holds position and altitude when you release your controls, waiting for you to give instructions. You can track it on your mobile device via the live GPS, and with the press of a button you can have it returning home to you. 

This drone is constructed to be safe for beginners, and all its safety functions makes this drone both safe and easy to fly.

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Vs DJI Phantom 3 Professional:

The main difference between the Professional edition and the Standard edition of the Phantom 3 is the camera. The Professional edition can shoot in 4K UHD while the Standard shoots in 2.7K. The Phantom 3 Professional also has a better range.

There are other smaller differences in functionality as well, but generally the Standard is focused on beginners and intermediates, while the DJI Phantom 3 Professional is focused on people interested in shooting high-level aerial photography and cinematography. 

Great for Beginners

I highly recommend the DJI Phantom 3 Standard camera drone to both beginners, and intermediates, I think it offers great quality for the money, and it has lots of possibilities. The many safety features also makes it a good choice for beginners.

This video is shot with the 2.7K camera of the Standard over Cingoli  lake in Italy:

>>> Check Price and Reviews on Amazon!<<<

– Top of the line Aerial Photography –

Phantom 4

 DJI Phantom 4

Specs
30 fps 4K Ultra HD video and 12 MP photo
Extended flight time of 28 min
Stabilized 3-axis gimbal
HD live FPV
Unique obstacle avoidance
Check Price!

DJI Phantom 4 was recently released and it certainly lives up to the hype. It has an advanced type of obstacle avoidance that helps you avoid power lines, trees etc. This can be very helpful when you are using the “follow me” mode.

About the Drone

The flight time is now 28 minutes, which is extremely good, and the speed of the drone is also improved vs the Phantom 3. Like Phantom 3 it has follow me capabilities, where you can have the drone follow your every move. This is very popular with people doing action sports like skiing, surfing and mountain biking.

It weights 1380 grams.

About The Camera

The camera shoots in 4K at 30fps, and there is an integrated 3 axis gimbal for increased stability and smooth filming.

Obstacle Avoidance

The Phantom 4 is equipped with an intelligent camera that automatically produces seamless tracking shots, and can fly around obstacles. This is of great use when using the follow me mode, and this really makes the Phantom 4 stand out amongst its competitors.

Final Thoughts

The Phantom 4 is smooth, really smooth, and the footage is great. It is also designed to be easy to use for everybody, just click and you are away. DJI has been criticized in the past for its customer service, but it seems that this has improved recently. And if your drone crashes or flies away you can upload the flight data to DJI and get a new one if it was not your fault.

>>> Check Price and Reviews on Amazon! <<<

– For Professional Aerial Photography –

DJI Phantom Professional 4K camera


DJI Phantom 3 Professional 4K UHD Video Camera Drone

Specs
Camera: UHD recording in 4k
Gimbal: A stabilized 3-axis gimbal included
FPV: live HD view
Flight time: Approx 23 minutes
Check Price!

The DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter with 4K UHD Video Camera and 3-axis gimbal offers excellent features, smooth videos, crystal clear photos, and a long flight time.

This is another quadcopter manufactured by DJI, one of the leading drone companies in the world. DJI started as a small business, but now have offices in United States, Germany, Japan, Beijing and Hong Kong, employing thousands of workers.

About the Drone

The DJI Phantom 3 Professional offers app enabled first person view, vision positioning system and GPS assisted hover. It has a flying system that is easy to use, with commands that lets the quad hover and stop when you release your control, and a return to home command.

You can use your mobile device to easily see what the Phantom is seeing. This camera drone comes with a max ascent speed of 5m/s and a max descent speed of 3m/s. The flight time is long, 23 minutes.

It is delivered ready to fly out of the box.

About the Camera

A high quality camera is included, and it shoots video in 4K at up to 30 frames per second. It takes crisp photos at 12 megapixels.

The 3-Axis gimbal helps you control the camera to get great shots, and it also stabilizes the camera so that you can get great video and stills.

Best Personal Drone for Photography and Cinematography

The excellent 4K video camera, the smooth and stable 3-axis gimbal, the 5km range, and features such as auto-hover, follow me, and point of interest makes this one of the best personal drones for aerial photography in 2016.

>>> Check Price and Reviews on Amazon!<<<

– The Challenger –

Yuneec Q500 Quadcopter

Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon Quadcopter

Specs
Camera: Camera with 16MP Full HD 1080p  and 60FPS included
FPV: Real-time feed is displayed on the transmitter
Gimbal: 3-axis gimbal included
Flight time: approx 25 minutes
Check Price!

The Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon has gotten a great reputation in the drone world for shooting great and smooth videos, and unlike many other drone companies they have great US based customer support.

About the Drone

The Yuneec is manufactured by Yuneec Electric Aviation, a drone company with its roots in the RC hobby world, and is an interesting challenger to the DJI Phantom 3.

The drone is delivered ready to fly, and has “Follow Me” capability, where the drone will follow you around keeping the camera on you. There is a no-fly zone database integrated.

There is a real time feed from the camera to the transmitter, the 5.5″ touchsreen of the Personal Ground Station.

About the Camera

The camera for this version of the Yuneec shoots video in Full HD, 1080p, and takes photos in 16MP. Included is a smooth and stable 3 axis gimbal. There is a system for FPV (first person view) integrated, where you can see what the camera sees on your transmitter at all times.

Yuneec Q500+ Compared to the DJI Phantom 3

The Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon captures some extremely smooth videos, and has been praised by photographers and cinematographers.

A big plus is also the great customer service that Yuneec offers from their US based customer service.

The Phantom 3 can take still photos in 12MP while the Yuneec takes them in 16MP.

The Phantom 3 Professional has better video capabilities, and can capture video in Full High Definition (FHD), and Ultra High Definition (UHD) while this version of the Typhoon only captures video in HD.

A big edge for the Phantom 3 is the controller distance, 1 km for the DJI Phantom Standard, 5 km for the Professional version vs 600 meters the the Q500.

Great Reputation

The Yuneec Typhoon Q500 has been very well received and praised by the drone community and also by professional photographers., It is a bit slow moving, but that only makes the video smoother. This is a really exiting alternative to the DJI Phantom 3.

>>> Check Price and Reviews on Amazon!<<<

Update

You can now get the Yuneec Q500+ with a 4K camera, for those looking for really professional photography and cinematography.

>>> Check Price and Reviews on Amazon!<<<

Best GoPro Drone

Phantom for GoPro

DJI Phantom 2 with Zenmuse H3-3D Gimbal for GoPro

Specs
Camera: No camera included. Designed specifically to work with GoPro cameras.
GoPro-compatible gimbal included
Payload: Designed to carry low weight actions cameras
Flight time: approx 25 minutes
Dimensions: 20 x 10 x 14 inches
Check Price!

So far in 2016 the DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter with the Zenmuse H3-3D Gimbal is the best drone on the market for GoPro.

It is designed specifically to be used with a GoPro camera, the quad has a very good reputation online, the gimbal holds the camera very steady, and the video footage produced is stunning.

This quadcopter is manufactured by DJI, one of the leading drone companies in the world. DJI started as a small business, but has grown because of its expertise and innovative thinking, and they now have offices in United States, Germany, Japan, Beijing and Hong Kong, employing thousands of workers.

About the Drone

The DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter has been pre tuned in the factory, which means it’s ready to fly in minutes. All you need to do is add the batteries to your remote, charge the quadcopter, attach the propellers  and you are ready to fly.

It’s has a 5200 mAh lithium polymer battery, which makes it possible to fly as long as 25 minutes on one charge (without camera) . The propellers have a self-tightening design, which providers extra security.

It does not include a camera, but is designed specifically to work with GoPro cameras.

About the Gimbal

Support is built into the drone for the Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal which is included in this package, and that gimbal provides super smooth video recording and improved camera stability.

The predecessor to this quadcopter is the DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter for GoPro, and the Phantom 2 is a bit smaller than the Phantom Aerial. The Phantom Aerial doesn’t come with the gimbal that makes the Phantom 2 such an excellent choice for GoPro users. Without a gimbal the video will not be very stable, and you have less control over the camera. While the Phantom Aerial is cheaper it also only has 15 minutes of flight time.

Video shot with the DJI Phantom 2 and GoPro Hero 4:

 If you want to see more drones that you can use with your GoPro Hero, check out our list of the 8 best gopro drones.

Best Beginner Drones

– The Long Flying Parrot –

Parrot AR Drone 2

Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition. Controlled by iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and Android Devices

Specs
Camera: 720p high-definition live video streaming to tablet and smartphone
Dimensions: 23 x 5 x 23 inches
Flight time: 36 minutes
Check Price!

The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition has an outstanding flight time of 36 minutes. A really cool drone for beginners, where you control the quad and stream the cameras view to your smart device. A reasonably priced quad that would fit very well as a first drone.

About the Manufacturer

Parrot is the company behind this drone, and they were founded back in 1994. The company markets, creates, and develops technologically advanced wireless products. The company is headquartered in the city of Paris and has over 900 employees across the world.

About the Drone

The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Quadricopter Power Edition is controlled via Wi-Fi using tablets or smartphones. The Power Edition has two 1,500mah batteries offering an exceptional flight time of 36 minutes.

It offers great features, such as Director Mode, AR. Freeflight, the ability to do flips and barrel rolls, and an excellent navigation system that improves stability.

You can control it with iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and Android Devices. When you tilt your device, you control the direction, and when you stop it is stabilized. It has an autopilot function for easy landings and take-offs.

About the Camera

A HD 720p camera is featured on the Parrot AR.Drone 2, and the front camera allows pilots to see exactly what the drone is seeing. It does not have a gimbal.

If you like the idea of a reasonably priced quality camera drone that you can control with your smartphone, where you can also stream the video live, this is a great option for you. The flight time of 36 minutes makes this quad unique, and a great choice for beginners wanting to fly for a long time without having to recharge.

 

>>> Check Price and Reviews on Amazon! <<<

– Good First Quadcopter –

UDI U818A

UDI U818A 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter with Camera RTF Mode 2

Specs
Camera: 640×480 pixels camera
Dimensions: 33 x 34 x 5.5 cm
Flight time: 6-9 minutes
Check Price!

If you’re a beginner and you’re looking for an easy beginner quadcopter that offers a camera, and you are not all that concerned about the quality of the video, then this is a great starting quad for you.

About the Manufacturer

UDI is a company that makes many different RC toys, including cars, helicopters and quadcopters.

About the Quadcopter

The UDI U818A 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter with Camera RTF Mode 2 offers plenty of excellent features for a very reasonable price. It has 4 channel function, which offers easy operation and stable flying.

It has a 6 axis gyro that provides improved posture control, making it easy to precisely position the quad. The 3.7V Lithium polymer battery offers about 7-9 minutes of fly time and the battery takes about two hours to recharge. The product dimensions are 13×2.2×13.3, and this quad only weighs 4.2 ounces.

About the Camera

A 640×480 pixels camera is included on the UDI Quad and it comes with a 1G micros SD card as well. While it’s not the best camera, the camera does offer good still shots and decent quality video.

You will obviously not get the amazing shots and the same stable video as you get with the more professional personal drones, such as the DJI Phantom, or Yuneec Q500+, however, for beginners that just want to get started with a fun beginner quad that won’t break the bank, this cheap camera drone is an excellent choice.

Video shot with the UDI U818A:

 

>>> Check Price and Reviews on Amazon!<<<

Check out our complete list of the top drones for beginners.

Best Commercial Drone

Inspire Pro

DJI Inspire 1 Pro

Specs
Camera with 4K video and 360 degree rotation.  16 MP photos
3-axis gimbal w brushless motors included
FPV: live HD video streaming
Flight time: around 15 minutes
Check Price!

This is another drone from DJI, the company that brought us the famous and popular DJI Phantom quad.

If you are a professional photographer or cinematographer, this is probably the drone that offers you the most possibilities for your money in 2016.

Equipped with the ZENMUSE X5 series of micro four thirds camera with interchangeable lens compatibility, easy remote focus control and an optimized dynamic range.

About the Inspire 1 Pro

It is a rather big drone, its weight is around 6.5 pounds and its width is 1.5 feet. It is more pricey than some of the other commercial drones, but it is very reliable and capable of capturing crystal clear shots with 360 degree rotation.

It has retractable carbon fiber arms and is capable of 360-degree shooting, without the arms getting in the way of the shot. The maximum altitude is 4,500 meters.

It uses intelligent flight modes, that simplify complicated picture taking. There is the Point of Interest mode that makes the drone face a particular landmark or object throughout its flight. There is Waypoints, a mode that allows for autonomous flying following an already set routine.

Great for Real Estate Photography and Aerial Cinematography

With its capability for 360-degree shooting, it is very well suited for real estate photography, movie making and professional photography.

>>> Check Price and Reviews on Amazon!<<<

For more commercial options see our full list of the best commercial drones.

Best Mini Quadcopter

Hubsan X4

Hubsan X4 (H107L) 4 Channel 2.4GHz RC Quadcopter

Specs
Camera: No camera
Dimensions: 2.3×2.3×1 inches
Flight time: 7-8 Minutes
Check Price!

If you are a beginner looking for a low cost personal drone without a camera, you might like the Hubsan X4 Quadcopter. It’s fun to fly, perfect for beginners that don’t need to take pictures, and great if you want to practice your flying techniques before buying a more expensive option.

About the Manufacturer

Hubsan is a company that designs many RC vehicles, including quadcopters. They are known for their swift, agile quadcopters that make it easy to fly indoors and outdoors.

About the Hubsan X4

The Hubsan X4 offers a one-piece, durable mainframe and it comes ready to fly. A LiPO, high capacity battery is included and it offers 2.4Ghz, 4 channel control. This quad is very small with product dimensions of 2.3×2.3×1 inches, and it weighs just four ounces. The six axis flight control system makes this quad excellent for both outdoor and indoor flight.

It doesn’t offer a very long flight time, and it’s not the best choice if you plan to fly in windier conditions. However, if you want a low cost, good beginner mini quadcopter, it’s a great choice that gives you plenty of value for your money.

Video of the Hubsan H107 L in flight:

 

>>> Check Price and Reviews on Amazon! <<<

For more micro quad options see our full list of the best mini drones.

These 9 are some of the best value drones the market has to offer so far in 2016.

I will try to keep this list updated on a monthly basis, as the industry is developing very fast, and new fascinating personal and commercial drones for sale keep popping up.

Is there a quadcopter that you feel should be on this list? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

Comments

  1. Robert Lane says

    I am considering my first drone. Having done a lot of online research I like the Walkera Runner 250 however there are numerous posts about support. As a novice, customer support is a major factor in my purchase decission. I would appreciate a review focused on the various manufactures and retailers and the guilty of the support.

  2. Adam says

    The Zenmuse X5 shoots only h.264 on the DJI Inspire and you said Raw and lossless which is redundant. Lossless isn’t uncompressed and raw is not lossless and it doesn’t matter because it’s the x5r that shoots raw for a LOT more money. The drone industry is full of people giving out wrong information and you’re blogging it? :roll eyes:

    • Jesse says

      Thank you Adam for pointing out a mistake in the text. It is the Inspire 1 RAW that shoots raw, and not the Inspire 1 Pro.

    • Ethan says

      Hey Robert, from what it sounds like you should look at going with yuneec. Their customer service has been great and if something breaks they’ll send the piece out to you. Do your research but it would be a good idea to look at going with them

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